New head coach Jim Mora has pretty big shoes to fill in Seattle. Replacing a future hall of fame coach isn’t easy; just ask Jim Zorn, Wade Phillips, and Herm Edwards.
However, Seattle’s new head man is bringing new life to a team that wasn’t very good offensively or defensively last season. He brings a new system to Seattle, tweaking the west-coast offense and establishing more of a run-based attack.
The Seahawks hired Jim Mora’s former assistant Gregg Knapp to run the offense. With this change in personnel, the playbook should look very different than the ones we have seen in previous seasons.
The biggest difference in the rushing attack for the Seahawks is the implementation of a zone blocking scheme. This scheme calls for only one cut by the running back.
Expect a lot of off tackle runs that cut into the middle for this new improved rushing offense.
The Seahawks will also run a lot of I-formation running plays. With Julius Jones the feature back and T.J Duckett as a short yardage back. The Seahawks also added fullback Justin Griffith to help solidify the blocking situation.
The Seahawks' running game should be significantly better than in 2008.
The passing attack should be different for Seattle this season. They should run a lot of three wide receiver sets with T.J Houshmandzadeh playing the slot and Deion Branch and Nate Burleson split wide.
With Houshmandzadeh being one of the league leaders in receptions with 294 over the last three seasons, expect him to be the go to receiver for Matt Hasselbeck.
Expect a lot of short, rhythm passes from Matt Hasselbeck this season to loosen up zone defenses.
Third-down draws should be a thing of the past for this new offense, potentially running four wide receiver set on third and long.
However, the emergence of a fourth wide receiver is vital for this offense in order to run any four wide receiver sets.
The defense should be considerable different form last season as well. However the Seahawks will still be a base 4-3 defensive team.
The Seahawks will use a combination of seven different defensive linemen in order to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Seattle will run a different coverage scheme this year. The will run a Tampa 2 cover scheme as opposed to the base Cover 2 used in years past. This could allow for potential blitzes by corners and safeties which has been lacking in recent years.
The Seahawks should also blitz Leroy Hill more with the addition of Aaron Curry, who is better in coverage than rushing the quarterback.
The Seahawks will be a different team this season. The difference in play calling and offensive style should be very effective for this team. If this team plays to their strengths, this should a surprise team in 2009.